Biography of H. L. Kinnaman

H. L. Kinnaman. The present county treasurer of Chautauqua County is one of the oldest residents of that section of the state. More than forty years ago he began farming on some of the virgin acres of this county, and the careful study and energy he gave to the business brought him an ample competence besides providing liberally for his growing family. He is now a resident of the City of Sedan and had recently been chosen for a second term to the responsibilities of the county treasuryship.

Mr. Kinnaman represents old American stock. His Kinnaman ancestors were German people and colonial settlers in North Carolina. Mr. H. L. Kinnaman was born in Madison County, Indiana, February 1, 1852. His father, H. L. Kinneman, Sr., was born in North Carolina January 2, 1809, a son of Walter Kinnaman, a native of the same state. In 1818 Walter Kinnaman and family came from North Carolina to the State of Ohio, and Walter subsequently lived in Indiana and Illinois, and died on his farm in the latter state. H. L. Kinnaman, Sr., grew up in Ohio, and in 1830 moved to Madison County, Indiana, where he married. He was one of the pioneers in that rich and picturesque section of Eastern Indiana, and prosperity came to him in generous measure. He was both a farmer and stock raiser. After the organization of the republican party he found a place in its ranks, and always loyally supported its candidates. For a number of years he served on the school board of his home district. H. L. Kinnaman, Sr., died in Carroll County, Missouri, in 1896 when eighty-eight years of age. He was a member of the Christian Church. His wife was Cassandra Crossley, who was born in Madison County, Indiana, in 1813. The Crossleys were among the first white people to locate in that county, and that was when Indiana was still a territory and only a short time after the Indians had been driven away from those hunting grounds. She died in Madison County in 1870. Her children were: David, who died in California, in 1855, having gone out to the Pacific coast during the days of the gold excitement; Conrad, who was a farmer and died in Madison County, Indiana; Walter, who is a retired farmer living at Tillamook, Oregon; Henry, a farmer who died in Madison County, Indiana; Hannah Jane, who lives at Pendleton, Madison County, widow of William Smith, who at the time of his death was a retired farmer; Emeline, who died in Madison County, the wife of Ransom Smith, who is now a retired farmer at Pendleton; Madison Marion, who was a farmer and died in Carroll County, Missouri; Sarah, who died in Carroll County, Missouri, the wife of Edward Purdy, who is a farmer still living there; Margaret, who died at the age of four years; H. L. Kinnaman, Jr.; William A., who also came to Chautauqua County, Kansas, became a farmer and died in 1886; Richard, who died on his farm in Chautauqua County.

Mr. Kinnaman grew up and received his early education in the public schools of Madison County, Indiana. When he left his father’s farm at the age of twenty-one, he came out to Chautauqua County in 1874, and joined his efforts to the comparatively few people who were at that time struggling to win a livelihood from the resources of the soil and climate. He stuck to his post during the many vicissitudes which beset Kansas farming in the early years, and kept up the work actively until 1915. Mr. Kinnaman still owned a fine place of 400 acres in Jefferson Township, six miles east of Cedarvale. He also owned his comfortable residence on Osage Street in Sedan.

Mr. Kinnaman had been voting the republican ticket since the days when Grant, Colfax, Hayes and other distinguished figures were in the ascendancy. After coming to Kansas his first important office was county commissioner, which he held from 1884 to 1887. He was also township treasurer of Jefferson Township four years, and was continuously clerk of the local school board for twenty-eight years. In 1914 he was elected for his first term as county treasurer but did not take office until October, 1915. In November, 1916, he was re-elected for another term of two years. Mr. Kinnsman is past noble grand of Wannetta Lodge, No. 241, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was formerly identified with the Encampment of that order, is also a member of the Anti-Horse Thief Association, and belongs to Lodge No. 131 of the Ancient Order of United Workmen at Sedan.

On March 26, 1874, in Indianapolis, Indiana, he married Miss Laura Wiley. Almost immediately after his marriage he brought his bride to Chautauqua County and they started to make a home in this new country. Mrs. Kinnaman died January 8, 1917, aged sixty years, her death occurring on her birthday. She was a daughter of Jaeob and Margaret Ringer Wiley, both of whom are deceased. Her father was an Indiana farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Kinnaman had four children: Lillie, who died at the age of twenty-two in Chautauqua County, was the wife of J. W. Leonard, who lives on a farm in Jefferson Township of Chautauqua County. Arminta married I. H. Johnson and they live near Elgin, Kansas, but on a farm just over the line in the State of Oklahoma; Alta died in infancy; Harry R. is one his farm adjoining that of his father in Jefferson Township.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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